I’m still making my way through some of the filings made the day before and the day after Thanksgiving, and, as expected, I’m finding plenty of turkeys. For example, late Wednesday — the time-stamp was 4:27 p.m. — home builder DR Horton (DHI) filed its preliminary proxy. Now, granted, it was a very good year for the company’s investors with the stock climbing nearly 50%. But the preliminary proxy shows that it was an even better year for the company’s top executives, two of whom — Chairman Donald Horton and Vice Chairman Donald Tomnitz — received $12.8 million in bonuses last year, or 32 times their annual salary of $400K.
Even better is the way the company describes the “substantial bonuses” (their language, not mine) further down in the proxy as being tied to “performance goals with regard to quarterly consolidated pre-tax income”. But the company never clearly spells out what those performance goals were. Combined with the $5 million in options that Tomnitz exercised last year, it’s not too hard to figure out why the company filed so late on Wednesday. Or maybe the company was just trying to do it in advance of yesterday’s sluggish existing home sales report.